We all know that New Business and Marketing is a tough job. The role has expanded exponentially over the past few years, competition is fierce, clients and procurement teams have become more demanding. And the result is ever-increasing pressure on resource and time.
So where do you start and how do you deploy your time, resource and energy? How do you position your agency to win more business, more often?
The answer is to gain clarity around your goals and apply a strategic framework that allows you to create the right kind of valuable pipeline opportunities. Needless to say, it’s a road well travelled by the most successful new business winning agencies.
So here’s the outline approach:
Start with the Agency Business Plan
Work together with senior management on the detail of the agency business plan. Their growth targets and strategy (including new services, products, skills and expertise) will define yours.
Make sure to agree your new business and marketing budget for the year.
Work alongside agency management
It’s important that you update senior management throughout the year (they’ll be coming to you, so don’t worry, it’ll happen). Signal any areas that will require investment (both financial and importantly, their time).
Audit your new business performance for the previous year
What was your overall pitch conversion rate (and break this down by stage)? Where did you perform well, and not so well? What was the average value of your wins? Where were the opportunities coming from?
There will be valuable learning here – it’s time well invested.
Define your revenue goals (and how you’re going to achieve them)
You’ve reviewed your past performance metrics so how many pitches do you need to win to hit your revenue target? Do you need to invest more effort and sharpen your skills and performance at key stages?
Build a list of your ideal client targets
Be specific. Who are those ideal clients you most want to work with – that align with your agency’s ambitions? Are there specific client individuals that you’re keen to engage with? The market is driven by churn so you’ll need to be well positioned to take advantage of client moves.
Examine your new business tools
Do you have the right tools in place to achieve your goals? Do you have a database, if not, should you invest in one? Or perhaps it’s time to consider a CRM system?
Revisit/refresh your agency collateral
Is your go-to-market selling proposition clear, easily understood and consistent across all your collateral?
Are your credentials working as a sales tool?
Do your case studies support your proposition?
Although all RFIs require bespoke responses (it’s never a good idea to cut and paste) do you have all the basics in place (stats, team biogs etc.) and are they current?
Your website should be a selling tool. Clients, Intermediaries, Procurement and all interested parties should be able to access specific information quickly. Your contact point should always be a person, never firstname.lastname@example.org or similar.
Design a marketing programme
We view marketing-led prospecting as integral to creating opportunities and building a valuable new business pipeline. Your marketing plan should detail how you’ll attract and engage with your ideal prospects and influencers.
Create an evaluation toolkit
If you’ve set tangible objectives it’s important to benchmark your performance and assess the ROI. Not just at the end of the year, but checking your progress at regular intervals, learning and adapting along the way.